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  #1  
Old December 4th, 2008, 05:09 PM
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Big 3 hybrids

A little venting here...
So last time the big 3 auto makers came begging to DC they flew in private jets and folks were pissed.

This time they show up in "green" vehicles.

Just how "green" was that I wonder? I'm not a huge "greenie" but this kind of BS seems stupid to me.
So Joe CEO flies down the DC on a jet. The team of engineers that make sure the prototype "green" car stays running likely still flew down on the corp. jet. A transporter takes the "green" car from MI to DC (and back) and the team of engineers all fly back.

So how was this "green"?
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  #2  
Old December 4th, 2008, 05:25 PM
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Actually, both Ford and GM also dissolved their entire corporate aviation departments this week as well. Stupid PR move is you ask me. It's one thing to scale it back and lease more efficient and cost effective airplanes, but this may have been a bit too big of a cut.

-Hans
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  #3  
Old December 4th, 2008, 05:35 PM
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Well, OK, no corp. jet., just commercial jets.
It still seems like a lot of fuss just to pull up in a new Volt, IMO.
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  #4  
Old December 4th, 2008, 06:48 PM
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Or Oabamma preaching how we need to stop using foriegn oil and buy fuel efficent cars blah blah and driving off in an Escalade. Not to mention he is anti coal and anti nuclear energy...
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  #5  
Old December 4th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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What would you have him "drive off" in a bullet proof Ford Escape Hybrid???
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  #6  
Old December 4th, 2008, 07:22 PM
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What would you have him "drive off" in a bullet proof Ford Escape Hybrid???
I would prefer that he just drive off... :-)
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  #7  
Old December 4th, 2008, 07:47 PM
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what bugs me about this whole issue is that yes, these guys are not the brightest bulbs on the tree have been conducting business as usual when they should have been doing some more creative R&D, PR, etc... BUT, it's the shit that everyone is giving them for producing Hummer's, Suburban's, Expeditions, etc.. that kind of pisses me off.

Hybrids are great, but is every person a candidate for a hybrid? A prius, volt, etc...? No. Personally I'm a family of 4. I have twin 1 year olds that have car seats that take the entire 2nd row of an SUV. Without any room for another passenger (comfortably). So, we have a third row.... but if you want to bring along a stroller, pack and play, etc... there isn't room. So, In fact I need something bigger! How about people with 3 or 4 kids? You can't possibly fit in the small eco friendly cars out there. You could go buy a hybrid escalade or tahoe but who's got a spare $55k laying around just to be "green".

20 years ago or more, if you had 3-4 kids you just needed to make sure they were buckled in and you were all set. Now a kid goes through 3-4 different seats by the time they are 6 all of which take a considerable amount of room. So, in my mind they have been supplying something that people need.... to a certain extent.

Rant over....
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  #8  
Old December 4th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG
Hybrids are great, but is every person a candidate for a hybrid? A prius, volt, etc...? No. Personally I'm a family of 4. I have twin 1 year olds that have car seats that take the entire 2nd row of an SUV. Without any room for another passenger (comfortably). So, we have a third row.... but if you want to bring along a stroller, pack and play, etc... there isn't room. So, In fact I need something bigger! How about people with 3 or 4 kids? You can't possibly fit in the small eco friendly cars out there. You could go buy a hybrid escalade or tahoe but who's got a spare $55k laying around just to be "green".
Well where I come from, and most European cities are the same, a couple of kids fit very well in the back of a sedan. I have two and drive a Hyundai Accent around town with no trouble and our other car is a 1991 MB300D. But this is a culture thing and I totally respect that difference. Where I find a problem with the big 3 is that if you look at the Japanese cars, they are (most of them) sold worldwide with very little modification and meet the almost every emission or safety requirement for those as is. I have never seen a Cobalt or Sunfire or any of those in any other place than North America the best I have seen are Chrysler 300s in Amsterdam for taxis. I personally think that the big 3 have been playing a really bad game of catch-up with the rest of the auto world way too long and forgot that to survive in this new world economy you have to innovate and push further. The last push from the big 3 go back to the mini-van.

Please keep in mind the the big 3 have plants in Canada as well and I really hope they can find an efficient way to come out on top with better products and a plan to make it in the long run, not 15 years.

Sincerely best luck to all of those working in the auto industry in the coming years !

My 0.02$

Pat
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  #9  
Old December 4th, 2008, 11:26 PM
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I don't really get why everyone is so anti-big three. Lets remember they probably employ directly or indirectly more people than the banking industry, yet we gave them $700++ billion with really no questions asked. Lets not forget that it was the financial guys that really brought down the house of cards. The credit situation and the sudden rise of oil to moronic heights caused the "perfect storm" which has brought the auto industry to its knees. Sure they should have been thinking of the future a little, but most people did not see this coming. I think the recent drop in oil also shows that much of the price hike was indeed caused by greed and speculators. At least the auto makers actually make something, This great country became the world economic power from industry not hedge funds and invetment banking. I bet the guys at AIG, Merril Lynch, goldman etc are loving the spotlight being off them and onto the auto industry. The auto ind. guys are only feeling the heat because the American public is fed up with Bailout talk and the only ones they can vent on are the auto execs. I hope the Senate and the American public come to their senses and give the big three what they need to keep going. Lets don't forget that the Foreign auto makers are hurting too. Mercedes has gone to the German gov. looking for money. And there are thousands of Japanese cars sitting at the port in Long Beach, the dealers can't sell them either.

Sorry for the long rant, but I can't believe what I am hearing in the news everyday.
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  #10  
Old December 4th, 2008, 11:59 PM
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Maybe we should get Exxon and Shell to bail them out since their gouging oil earlier this year set the auto makers up for failure while giving themselves record profits. If there are no big cars they wont be selling much gas...right? The guys at the big three are shitty businessmen, their cars suck, and they have no foresight. If we subsidize this we are just as guilty. Let them go away and someone else with vision and imagination will take their place. Then we'll have some good competition and have some decent vehicles come out. It's not like we dont have talent here in America...we're not going to be carless just because Ford and GM aren't around. Next we'll be bailing Target and WalMart out because they're the only retailers. Maybe these legislators should be thinking about encouraging durability or a tax break for a car with over 100K miles instead of everyone getting a new piece of shit every two years. All the GM employees could work at NAPA or OReilly. Or maybe they could lift the ban on 0 to 25 year old Defenders??? Then we'd have cheap parts and trucks that last forever!

I also dont think we need to pay off mortages for jackasses who signed on for an interest only loan that has come due and they cant come up with the cash. If you loaned money to this person you are a fool, if you take out this loan you are a fool, and all they rest of us pay for their mistakes with our hard work. Is this the American way? Is this healthy?

and just because you have a few kids and some of their kit doesnt mean you have to drive a winnebago. There are plenty of fuel efficient ways to handle that load, try an Allroad or another wagon, it works everywhere else. Diesel would be a good place to start as well.

...as long as we're ranting....
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  #11  
Old December 5th, 2008, 01:24 AM
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my two cents: too little too late- we know, due to their initial performance, that they really just don't give a shit, and that this "going green" was simply a publicity stunt. I laughed when they showed up in "green" vehicles today. are we supposed to be dumb enough to fall for it?

forget giving the money to the big 3- i wish them the best, really, I do, and I feel for everyone most directly affected by the situation, but I wish we'd put the money into infrastructure associated with hydrogen and electric vehicles. Or even put the money into pushing and developing biodiesel.
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  #12  
Old December 5th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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[QUOTE=oldscratchggf]my two cents: too little too late- we know, due to their initial performance, that they really just don't give a shit, and that this "going green" was simply a publicity stunt. I laughed when they showed up in "green" vehicles today. are we supposed to be dumb enough to fall for it?

I thought that was hilarious as well...... Did they have driver's? That would be really funny.

"Quote"
"rgrrvr- and just because you have a few kids and some of their kit doesnt mean you have to drive a winnebago. There are plenty of fuel efficient ways to handle that load, try an Allroad or another wagon, it works everywhere else. Diesel would be a good place to start as well."

That's true, you don't need a winnebago, but if you have ever had to put two kids, two dogs, couple pack and plays, some luggage, etc... and maybe some other gear in a vehicle not only would never fit in an allroad or other wagon but you would be way over what the recommended capacity is. I'm not a big fan of that, personally. I would rather have something safer to haul everyone around.

I'm amazed myself. I'm a new father and we're an active traveling family. I never expected how much stuff you end up carrying around. I used to laugh at people driving around in suburban's, etc.. but now I see why! I would rather have an 08' Defender 110. It's only 20" shorter (wheelbase) then the suburban.
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  #13  
Old December 5th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECR
A little venting here...
So last time the big 3 auto makers came begging to DC they flew in private jets and folks were pissed.

This time they show up in "green" vehicles.

Just how "green" was that I wonder? I'm not a huge "greenie" but this kind of BS seems stupid to me.
So Joe CEO flies down the DC on a jet. The team of engineers that make sure the prototype "green" car stays running likely still flew down on the corp. jet. A transporter takes the "green" car from MI to DC (and back) and the team of engineers all fly back.

So how was this "green"?
Which "green"? As you state given all the behind the scenes hoopla, not very environmentally friendly. I think the opportunity to turn it into a publicity stunt wasn't even the intent, they were slammed so hard for the corporate jet thing that they thought, we make cars maybe we should drive. From there it turned into what it is now with the media and utube...just my opinion. It is "green" in the sense of spending a lot of green to make it happen, maybe not the $30K a private jet flight costs but expensive, maybe it was more. The other issue that someone pointed out is the big 3 seem to portray a complete lack of business knowledge given the judgements they have made that the public is aware of. First, the jet trip. Now they are trying to make amends by driving hybrid cars, but tell me this. Would you want your executive officers paying ~$600 for a commercial fair to get up and back in a few hours to DC or would you want them spending 16 hours on the road round trip when your company could possibly fail in the next four weeks? Not to mention that if they are making between $500-$1000 an hour by some estimates, is that even remotely a smart business decision? I don't want anyone to loose their job or an American company or industry to fail but when you hear what is reported about the business practices and the perceived attitude that operations don't need to change we just need cash infusion, what choice is there. A few other factors that I have not confirmed as fact but have been reported back up my opinion. A line worker who needs no more than a high school diploma makes ~$120K annually, if his/her job becomes automated or they become unemployed they are compensated for 48 months. Is that competitive with the national or worldwide industry, I doubt it. We, as tax payers, get sacked either way. If they get bail out money, we paid for it and if they fail all those pensioned employees are federally ensured. It is my understanding that a bankruptcy restructure would be the only potential option at this point that does not directly impact the tax payer and we know that there are many indirect consequences to everyone that aren't even known yet. The perfect storm that someone else mentioned is not the root cause here in my opinion, merely the straw that broke the camel's back and some might argue this is the recalibration this industry and others need. Bottom line in my mind is that this is just poor business and not a bias towards any company. I bought an 04 Ford new from the dealership, still drive it every day and get it serviced 80% of the time at the local dealer. I don't want to see them go away or anyone else but simple math says you can't loose money on every car you produce and stay in the business of making cars.
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  #14  
Old December 5th, 2008, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgrrvr
I also dont think we need to pay off mortages for jackasses who signed on for an interest only loan that has come due and they cant come up with the cash. If you loaned money to this person you are a fool, if you take out this loan you are a fool, and all they rest of us pay for their mistakes with our hard work.

and just because you have a few kids and some of their kit doesnt mean you have to drive a winnebago. There are plenty of fuel efficient ways to handle that load, try an Allroad or another wagon, it works everywhere else. Diesel would be a good place to start as well.

...as long as we're ranting....

+1

.. but it wasn't that the folks lending the money on sub-prime loans were fools. Greed was the driving factor there. I can't tell you how many new D90 owners we had in the last couple years, all with @citibank etc email addresses. They spent tons of money and now all those trucks have traded hands to other folks and we no longer get those customers.

I'm a big pro-USA guy, but that doesn't mean I am pro or anti Big 3. I think they made really bad choices, but on the flip side those were based on what the US buyers wanted. Everyone wanted a big SUV. They met demand but didn't look to the future.

I think they will likely get the bailout... too many depend on the Big 3.
but part of me says don't give it to them. no one would bail my ass out if I make bad choices.

If all this car stuff is such a crisis, why don't they relax EPA rules for a few years and let some kick ass European diesels that meet Euro II req. in?
Oh yeah, that would piss off the greenies and it would be another typical American "not in my back yard" reaction.
Cheap energy please... but no nukes in my back yard
Cars with better mpg please... but no diesel soot in my back yard

BTW... I have kids (with child seats) and a large dog. I've never had any issue taking everything I need anywhere I want to go (including long trips) in an Audi S6 Wagon.
You don't automatically need a Suburban because you have a child, unless you want to look cool and keep up with the neighbors.
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  #15  
Old December 5th, 2008, 10:03 AM
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The biggest mistake GM made was not busting the unions when they went on strike back in 1998.

Ford pays $71 per hour per worker. That is more than most attorneys/doctors etc.
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  #16  
Old December 5th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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I don't think you can chalk the problems of the big 3 up to bad union negotiating. The legacy costs on each vehicle is $1500 and I would submit that price is not the issue for GM/Ford/Chrylser.

The euro manufacturers have been kicking detroits ass for decades as have the japanese in terms of quality and creating desirable models.

If you look back at Ed Demming and his story, you will see that the big 3 never paid more than lip service to the needs of the consumer in regards to quality and value.

The companies that adopted Demmings business model have been doing well and those who did not have been withering on the vine.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteD90
but simple math says you can't loose money on every car you produce and stay in the business of making cars.
I'm no expert at all in any of this, but I do recall hearing some figures that the Big 3 keep/kept making more cars than they could/can sell because of the unions. It was cheaper to keep them working and building cars no one needed than to slow production.
Can't recall the figures, but it was along those lines.

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by landrovered
The euro manufacturers have been kicking detroits ass for decades as have the japanese in terms of quality and creating desirable models.
I agree 100%, but didn't the majority of the US buyers just want an old body on frame truck with a big V8?
Isn't the Ford F150 the best selling vehicle in the US (likely not anymore)?
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  #18  
Old December 5th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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The only reason the F150 is the best selling vehicle is fleet sales. Not individual sales and of course you are basing that statement on their saying it is so.

The US manufacturers have even managed to ruin the trucks that they build as well. The damned hoods are so high up you can't see anything for fifteen feet in front of the bumper. Toyota trucks are gaining market share at a tremendous rate.

I looked over a $42K new diesel crew cab P/U that a friend bought, what a POS, all plastic fantastic designed to appease the ego of the driver but not worth a damn for standing up to real use.

It is a shame that detroit has sold its product integrity for profit and plastic that looks like chrome.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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Not to go too far off topic, but it's been mentioned. We have a Yukon XL for our active family of 3. On a trip to VT over Thanksgiving it was packed with luggage and kids and of course the Lab. I've had an allroad and my wife now drives an E500 Merc Wagon. Even with a Thule box, we wouldn't have all fit in either vehicle. I reset the computer on the way out of Stowe and when we got home it showed an average of 17MPG. I was driving about 70MPH and we hit a bunch of traffic thru CT and NYC. Not that 17MPG is great (and it goes down quickly with around town driving) but for all the stuff we had I think it's comparible to other SUV's.

Next week I'll need some sheets of ply for a project outside and will fold the seats down and will have no problems in transporting it - I've done it plenty of time before.

When in Italy in September I loved the MB Vanos. It fit 9 of us without problem - manual 6 speed and that diesel seemed very quick even going up the steep hills loaded down. I would have my family in one of those if they were in the states.

The Gmmy works well for us but after seeing some Euro only vehicles I think it could be improved a lot with a diesel powerplant and a more cab forward design/shorter wheelbase. Essentially it's the same thing as the mid 70's 'Burbon my dad had when I was a kid. I think that's a big area that Chevy could improve on.
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  #20  
Old December 5th, 2008, 10:39 AM
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This is the workhorse of the ROW...

http://www.daihatsu.com/catalogue/delta/index.html

Not this...

http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/
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